Thursday, March 8, 2007
McClatchys close business after 27 years
By SUE WATSON
The old adage when one door closes, another door opens, is true for C.B. and Marie McClatchy, who auctioned off the contents and building of their downtown Holly Springs business last week.
The McClatchys were in the hardware business for 27 years.
Marie McClatchy reviewed some of the history of the store they started up “cold turkey” in 1987 as a young couple with one child. C.B. had been teaching and coaching at Marshall Academy and Marie worked for First State Bank, when they seized the opportunity to start a business from scratch.
Neither had retail experience when they bought the contents of White’s Auto Store at the corner of Memphis Street and Van Dorn to start their business.
The store opened under the OTASCO name when they bought the stock and all the fixtures of White’s Auto from Fred and Nita Debardeleben. In 1987 they switched to the True Value brand.
“We started out cold turkey,” Marie said.
As a retailer, the McClatchys had many good times.
“C.B. enjoyed meeting and getting to know the people of Holly Springs,” she said. “One thing he loved - he always had sleds - and when it snowed he knew kids were coming to buy a sled.
“We both enjoyed learning about the hardware business and everything that went with it. We are going to miss our customers and all our good neighbors on our street. But he’s back in teaching and enjoying that and considering getting back into coaching.”
There have been big changes in the way people live in a small town that affect small town businesses, Marie said.
She said the coming of large box stores like Wal-Mart to the area did not seem to be a big factor in the success of their business.
“We were with Wal-Mart from the beginning,” she said. “I think more people are mobile now. In the 1980s people just shopped in Holly Springs. But people have more automobiles and don’t think twice about going to Olive Branch or Memphis to buy something.
“We tried to give the best service we could and used to not charge to go out of town (on a delivery) until gas prices got so high.”
The McClatchys were very pleased with the auction of the store building and all the stock and fixtures last week.
W.O. “Bill” Fitch stepped up and bought the building at auction. All the contents were auctioned off at good prices because there were about 150 people - individuals and businesses - who registered for the auction.
A good weather day, a focused auction group (Roebuck Auctions) and a street vendor, plus lots of community interest in the auction contributed to the successful sale, Marie said.
She said change is a part of living.
“You’ve got to accept change and you can’t dwell on the past,” Marie said. “You have to do what’s best for yourself and your family.
The McClatchys expressed heartfelt appreciation to the community for participating in the sale.
“I want to thank everybody who shopped with us over the 27 years,” she said. “We’ve had wonderful customers and we thank everybody who participated in the close-out sale. We had lots of individuals, a lot of dealers and a beautiful day.”
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